A huge black cloud was lifted from above St Andrews yesterday as it was confirmed that Trillion Trophy Asia has taken control of Birmingham International Holdings Limited and consequently Birmingham City.
To be fair it was no surprise as they have been involved in helping to sort out the mess while also getting involved in helping the receivers Ernst & Young take care of Birmingham City which is BIHLs prized and in reality only asset. During that time they have also invested money into the club ahead of officially taking ownership. But this was Birmingham City and until the papers were signed, sealed and delivered nothing was taken for granted.
Blues have been in Limbo since the incarceration of Carson Yeung with lots of talk of takeovers but nothing happening.
During this time the club tried to make it business as usual however that was extremely difficult in the face of no investment and financially living hand to mouth.
However now that there is now stability, and optimism for the first time since the club was relegated from the Premier League it is worth putting on record the work and dedication of a number of people that kept the club going during those dark austere times. The club was run day to day by a senior executive management team of Julia Shelton, Jo Allsop, Roger Lloyd, and Gary Moore. Julia ran the football side, Jo the business admin, with Roger and Gary controlling the finance. They steered the ship through the turbulent waters of financial crisis and despair.
Julia, Roger, Kevan Broadhurst and Ewan Chester are responsible for Gary Rowett being at the club. It was they who, along with Panos Pavlakis, sold the club to one of the brightest young managers in the game. That was no easy task considering the club was being run by the receivers.
Panos was sent over from China to oversee what was happening at the club, however he has done much more than that. He became and still is the leader the clubs staff and fans had needed for so long. He has built an important working relationship with the manager and just as importantly has without doubt built a bridge and repaired the damage done to the relationship the cub had with its fans by the previous regime.
We are told that TTA do not plan any changes and that is good news as the club consolidates after the turmoil. I think they would be wise to make Panos officially the clubs CEO a role he has been doing anyway and that will also add to the stability.
I think it’s important to understand that while there will be money available to improve the team year on year however one thing is for certain it will not be to the level of some of the other clubs in the championship. However Gary Rowett has proved that he and his team can spot talent and can spend wisely. But come January if the team are still in touch with the playoff places and promotion then TTA might just have to invest in Gary’s judgement.
As the dark clouds of misery, hopelessness and despair drift away there is a blue sky on its way-cue ELO.